Long before Donald Trump became a pox upon this nation — at least politically — people like myself have been more than eager to point out the fact that the Republican economic philosophy of “tax cuts for the rich create jobs” (aka trickle-down economics) is an absolute scam. Not only is there practically no evidence to support the idea that cutting taxes helps economic growth, both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama raised taxes — then the United States proceeded to flourish economically.
Meanwhile, George W. Bush passed massive tax cuts at the beginning of his presidency, and what followed was the doubling of our national debt, and the worst economic crash since the Great depression.
Since the dawn of trickle-down economics nearly 40 years ago, all we’ve seen happen is that the rich have gotten richer, while the poor and middle class have fallen further and further behind. Even many Republicans no longer dispute that fact, though each time one of them points out our growing problem with income inequality in the United States, all they’re really doing is admitting that trickle-down economics doesn’t work.
After all, taxes are at some of their lowest levels in years, yet the middle class still isn’t catching up to the top 2-percent of Americans.
Seeing as Trump’s an unhinged buffoon who doesn’t think about what he says, does, or tweets, one of his recent posts on Twitter was actually him admitting that his own party’s economic philosophy of trickle-down economics doesn’t work:
"Corporations have NEVER made as much money as they are making now." Thank you Stuart Varney @foxandfriends Jobs are starting to roar,watch!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 1, 2017
This is a statement Politifact rated as Half True, by concluding the following:
Trump tweeted that “corporations have NEVER made as much money as they are making now.”
In raw dollars, corporations are making more money as of January 2017 than ever before. It’s worth noting that the data isn’t in for a Trump-only quarter.
And as a share of the broader economy, corporate profit levels are not unprecedentedly high — in fact, for almost half of the quarters under Obama, the share was even higher.
So, while it’s true that, as of January 2017, corporations are making more than ever before, during “almost half of the quarters under Obama” — you know, when people like Trump said the economy was a “disaster” — corporate profits were “even higher.”
The issue here is, ultra-high corporate profits aren’t always a good thing. Hence my point about trickle-down economics being a scam. As Politifact also pointed out, employee compensation (wages and benefits) as compared to the share of GPD has been declining rather steeply since the 70’s.
As many economists will tell you, often higher corporate profits only benefit shareholders, while hurting employees by cutting raises, benefits, or entry-level salaries. Not that I’m saying high corporate profits are a bad thing (I’m not), but context matters.
That’s why our continued issue with stagnant wages proves that trickle-down economics is a massive con perpetuated by Republicans for the rich.
Based on the philosophy of trickle-down economics, as these corporations and the rich do better, we all should do better — but that’s not what we’ve seen over the last 40 years. What we’ve seen are big business and the wealthy prosper, while the rest of the country struggles to keep up.
So if Trump’s bragging about corporate profits being up, while wage stagnation continues to be a huge problem in this country, clearly cutting taxes has nothing to do with helping the middle class, creating jobs, or growing our economy.
That means, in one tweet, Trump managed to humiliate himself in four different ways:
- He actually bragged about corporate profits that were lower than several quarters during Obama’s presidency.
- Proved that corporations can still make record amounts of money without cutting taxes.
- Brought attention to the fact that the rich are flourishing in this country, while the poor and middle class are still struggling to keep up, which further proves that trickle-down economics is a scam.
- He bragged about an economic quarter that, not only was Obama still president during part of it, but Trump’s policies had almost nothing to do with considering he’s yet to sign a single piece of major economic legislation.
Leave it to Donald Trump to send out one short tweet that made himself look like a complete idiot in several different ways.